Saturday, June 24, 2006

Revising and Plotting - Two Sides, Same Coin

"Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with a first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing." Richard North Patterson

I've started using the same technique that I've used to plot my latest WIP on my completed about Camilla. It's working so well in the plotting phase that I hoped it would help me to revise.

It's amazing to me that I was able to type up a category length novel that lacked so much depth. Don't get me wrong, I love Camilla and Jed and there's much I do adore about the story. But as I started answering Maass's questions about plot layers and internal conflict and sub-plots and so forth, I realized that Camilla's story is quite shallow and that simply won't do.

I don't think a mystery will be appropriate for this upcoming contest, so it's Camilla's story or I have to pull out and dust off Tish's story. Though, now that I'm thinking about it, I do want to try and revise Tish (and maybe even Liv Leigh) using this same system. And, I'm telling you, I don't think I'll ever, EVER, not use these tools when plotting a book again.

I've come to the conclusion that many people don't plot a book because they don't know how. It's not just sitting down and doing character sheets and writing an outline. It's so much more. My imagination has been soaring, high and free, during this process. And, as one of the ladies who's going through this with me said, "This story is half written already!".

How could you not want to make it easier?

I've had to accept that much of Camilla's story will need rewriting. I'm trying to attack this post-writing work much the same as I would approach it as if I'd never written Camilla. I have to pretend that I don't already have 200+ pages written and start from scratch. I have to realize that, even though there are scenes that I LOVE they may not have a place in the revised edition. I think I'm ready.

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it.

1 comment:

Ceri said...

Boy, you make it sound like its worth it to plot ;) I've tried to stay away from it like I do saurkraut (holding my nose and all) but maybe I'll have to really put my mind to it with my latest wip, since its still in its infancy.

Does this mean you stay away from the puter and just sit down with a pen and paper and Maass?

One thing is for sure, Maass is coming to work with me today. I don't know what my work load will be today, but I can spend my lunch break with him anyway.

qidkr-quit irritating ducks, keep running